25 must-have iPhone apps

Mobile apps have become an embarrassment of riches. In a world with over 200,000 iPhone apps and over 100,000 Android apps, the toughest part is finding the most useful stuff.

For iPhone users, I’m going to throw you an assist by sharing my top 25. These are third-party apps that can help you be more productive, streamline several of your activities, reduce the number of gadgets in your life, and take advantage of the best benefits that mobile computing has to offer.

I’m also going to follow up with similar lists of the best apps for Android and iPad.

Samsung unveils new smart phone with own software

Wireless Show Samsung

Samsung Electronics Co., the largest maker of cell phones for the U.S. market, on Sunday revealed the first phone running Samsung’s own “smart” software system, bada. With bada, Korea-based Samsung is taking the TouchWiz system used on its touch-screen non-smart phones and making it the basis of a smart phone platform to take on Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry. Samsung also makes phones based on other competing smart phone systems: Android, created by Google Inc., and Symbian, of which Nokia Corp. is a major backer.

J.K. Shin, the president of Samsung’s phone division, said the goal of bada was to expand the market for smart phones, making them available to people across the world who have made do with non-smart phones. The new phone, dubbed the Wave, is a touch screen phone like the iPhone. It features a highly saturated, high-resolution screen using organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs.

HTC’s Chief Innovator: ‘The iPhone is Slippery Like a Watermelon Seed’

HTC

In an interview with T3, HTC’s Chief Innovation Officer Horace Luke justifies the impressive Teflon coating on the HTC Hero by saying that the iPhone is slippery as hell. The obvious solution, of course, is seedless watermelons.

He also says that there are three “classes” of Android phone. Obviously HTC isn’t happy with Android as is, and will skin it like they do with Windows mobile.

There are three classes of Android phone: the first was the Google-branded phones, the G1 and Magic; the Hero is the first in the second category, in which we added our own customised UI, but we didn’t change everything because they did some great things, like push email, integrating Google Maps etc; and the third is the quick and dirty Chinese knockoffs that won’t work with Marketplace. They’re Linux phones, really.

The World’s 10 Most Outrageously Priced Cell Phones

Sometimes people with money buy things that aren’t actually worth the money. I don’t know if diamonds help to make your signal stronger, but I highly doubt it.

I am not saying that all expensive phones are not worth the price, but you be the judge.

The cheapest phone on this list costs around $28,000 and the most expensive is priced at over $1.3 million dollars.

“iPhone Killers” gird their loins for battle

As the launch of the 3G iPhone approaches, BusinessWeek reports that competitors face the same problem they did in July of last year.

“Most people want the iPhone, just as they want the iPod and not some other MP3 player,” says Gloria Barczak, professor of marketing at Northeastern University. “People want the real thing.”

The difference between now and then is that the real thing will cost less, at least up front. Higher costs for data plans and messaging actually means the 3G iPhone costs more over the life of the contract with AT&T.

Nonetheless, that new sticker price is putting pressure on rival carriers “to increase their own mobile handset subsidies, boost marketing budgets, and reduce prices on some services, analysts and industry insiders say—all likely to mean slimmer margins.”

Unfortunately, none of those business strategies are about the product and the user experience, which leaves it up to the handset makers to challenge the iPhone.

“We want to take the touch experience to a new level,” says John Wang, chief marketing officer of HTC. The Touch has sold more than 3 million units worldwide in the past year, which sounds great until you consider the iPhone has sold twice that many in the same period while limited to just a few countries.

Still, the Touch has sold more than the Centro. Palm’s last gasp has sold more than a million since its introduction in 2007, and the company is “confident” of reaching 2 million in 2008. Imagine what Palm could do if it actually created something new, instead of beating their dead horse of an OS at $99 a phone. Or maybe that’s not such a good idea.

The Sprint Instinct is new, though one could question its originality, at least in advertising. Sprint is spending $100 million in ads that compare the Instinct to the iPhone—the 2G iPhone, that is. Looking over reviews, they are mixed at best. At worst, Gizmodo lambastes web browsing on the Instinct as an “ABYSMAL failure of design.”

And regarding failures of design at web browsing, one could count the Blackberry firmly in that column, at least until the soon-to-be-released Blackberry Bold. Preliminary reports have a lot of good things to say about what will be the iPhone’s real competition among consumers, but that brings up the real question.

Carriers and handset makers had an entire year to get ahead of the iPhone, to create a true rival at a cheaper price. Now, a year later, they don’t even have the better sticker price.

Maybe you can’t beat the real iThing.

Source: Arstechnica.com

Nokia bendable cell phone Demos

Nokia and the University of Cambridge are showing off a new stretchable and flexible mobile device of the future called Morph. The new concept phone is part of an online display presented in conjunction with the “Design and the Elastic Mind” exhibition underway through May 12 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The device, which is made using nanotechnology, is intended to demonstrate how cell phones in the future could be stretched and bent into different shapes, allowing users to “morph” their devices into whatever shape they want. Think Stretch Armstrong for cell phones. Want to wear your cell phone as a bracelet? No problem, just bend it around your wrist.

Nokia says the concept device demonstrates handset features that nanotechnology might be capable of delivering, including flexible materials, transparent electronics, and self-cleaning surfaces. “Nokia Research Center is looking at ways to reinvent the form and function of mobile devices,” Bob Iannucci, chief technology officer for Nokia, said in a statement. “The Morph concept shows what might be possible.” Even though Morph is still in early development, Nokia believes that certain elements of the device could be used in high-end Nokia devices within the next seven years. And as the technology matures, nanotechnology could eventually be incorporated into Nokia’s entire line of products to help lower manufacturing costs.

Google sidesteps mobile reports


Google has refused to deny mounting speculation that it is working to produce its own brand mobile phone.

Reports suggest that the web giant is developing a series of”GPhones”, centred on its mobile services, such as search, e-mail and maps.

In a statement, Google said it was working with carriers, phone makers and content providers to “bring its services to users everywhere”.

The firm would not say if its efforts included plans for a handset.

The Google statement said: “What our users and partners are telling us is that they want Google search and Google applications on mobile, and we are working hard every day to deliver that.”

LG KU-580 Google Phone


LG KU-580, it features Google Search, Google Mail and Google Map. The phone was created as a collaboration between LG and Google. It features LG Chocolate black n red style, along with 2 inch widescreen display, 3G, FM Radio, Mp3 player and more.

The Google phone is now available in France and Italy. German and other European countries should have it soon. Base on what I can tell from the pictures, Vodafone will be the carrier.